To show how strong the alliance between the U.S. and Japan is, a commander of the Marines in Japan recently said that U.S. forces in the Pacific could easily recapture the Senkaku Islands should China invade them. While Japan has been administering the islets located in the East China Sea for some time now, China has been claiming sovereignty over the territory it refers to as Diaoyu.
Speaking to defense reporters last Friday, Commander of the III Marine Expeditionary Forces in Japan Lt. Gen. John Wissler assured that should the need arise, capturing the Senkakus would be quick, seeing as it’s a “very, very small collection of small islands.” He added, “You wouldn’t maybe even necessarily have to put somebody on that island until you had eliminated the threat, so to speak.” Wissler also stressed during the interview that Navy-Marine Corps team deployed in the area is fully capable to respond should it happen. Until recently, China has increased its maritime activities in the area by sending ships into the waters near the islets. Japan has seen it as a threat and China’s assertion of its claim.
On his recent trip to Asia, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel touched on the issue of the Senkakus while speaking with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan. He noted that as the Senkakus fall under Japan’s territory, any attack on the islets would force the U.S. to come to its aid as part of the defense treaty with its East Asian ally.
[via Stars & Stripes]
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